US reverses Trump’s attempt to break California vehicle emissions regulations

FILE PHOTO: Traffic moves along a highway next to Los Angeles, California
FILE PHOTO: Traffic travels along a highway next to Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 11, 2019. REUTERS / Mike Blake

December 22, 2021

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration on Tuesday completed a reversal of a rule enacted under then-U.S. President Donald Trump that sought to pre-apply California’s vehicle emissions regulations.

The Department of Transportation said it was issuing final rules to rescind Trump’s action, which sought to bar the most populous state in the country from setting vehicle rules that could conflict with its jurisdiction. the federal government’s authority to set Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements.

The program, which has been in place since 1975, sets out requirements for the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

“Countries can now actively pursue solutions to address the climate crisis and environmental challenges in their communities,” Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.

About two dozen US states have sued to block some of Trump’s actions to remove California from vehicle emissions regulations, while major automakers have backed the effort. Republican presidents often clash with California.

Shortly after Democrat Joe Biden was elected president in November 2020, General Motors Co reversed course and chose to no longer support the Trump administration’s effort to ban California from setting regulations on its own emissions.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alone has reversed the Trump administration’s 2019 decision to withdraw California’s legal authority to set regulations on vehicle emissions and set regulations. mandatory for zero-emission vehicles.

The EPA in 2013 granted California an exemption from California’s greenhouse gas and zero-emission vehicle regulations.

A total of 14 states have adopted California’s vehicle emissions regulations and 11 have adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations.

On Monday, the EPA completed new vehicle emissions requirements through 2026 that are intended to reverse Trump’s cuts in auto pollution and will accelerate the United States’ shift to more electric vehicles (EVs). . The EPA says the regulation will reduce U.S. gasoline consumption by about 15 percent by 2050, or more than 440 million barrels.

If expressed in miles per gallon (mpg) requirement, EPA rules would result in a real-world average for new cars and trucks of about 40 mpg in 2026, compared with 38 mpg under the August recommendation and 32 mpg under the Trump rule.

Biden wants 50% of all new car sales by 2030 to be hybrid or electric models but does not endorse California’s plan to phase out new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.

The Department of Transport expects next year to complete the rewrite of the CAFE standards.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis) US reverses Trump’s attempt to break California vehicle emissions regulations

Bobby Allyn

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